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Letran Knights affirm 3rd spot in standings, defeat CSB Blazers

By Xy-Zha Cabanlong

MANILA - The Colegio de San Juan de Letran Knights took solo 3rd spot in the NCAA team standings after defeating the College of Saint Benilde Blazers, 87-74, at the Fil-Oil Arena in San Juan City, Tuesday afternoon.

Fran Yu exploded in the second half, leading the Knights to their 9th win by finishing with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 8 assists.

The Knights and the Blazers shared three deadlocks in the 3rd quarter but it sealed off with Letran ahead by 3 points, 64-61 after Bon-Bon Batiller scored from a putback off Allen Mina's missed shot.

Letran outscored CSB, 28-21, in the said period.

While the Blazers opened the 4th quarter at the right footing, Letran was able to capitalize after Justin Gutang was warned for taunting after he was fouled by Larry Muyang.

Yu scored a triple to tie the game at 67-all, and from there, the Knights did not allow the Blazers to take the lead away from them.

Batiller asserted the advantage for Letran, breaking the tie, 70-67, with a triple.

Over 6 minutes to play in the final quarter, Coach Charles Tiu of the Blazers was called for a Technical Foul, which Batiller converted into 2 easy points off the technical charities handed to the Knights from the infraction.

The odds favoured Letran all the more as back to back fouls were called against Justin Gutang that led to him fouling out of the game with 3:07 left in the game.

Yu earned a trip to the free throw line to convert 2 quick points for the Knights, making it a 7-point lead; 77-70.

Just when the Blazers managed to cut their trail to 5 points, Yu scored a massive triple to give the Knights a secured 8-point lead, 82-74.

Unique Naboa's foul at the return of play after CSB called for a breather turned out to be a dagger for the Blazers as Yu converted 2 more foul shots, giving Letran a 10-point advantage with over a minute left to play; 84-74.

King Caralipio scored the last basket for the Knights off an assist by Ato Ular to record the final score of 87-74.

Box Scores:

LETRAN 87 - Ular 20, Yu 19, Batiller 13, Muyang 10, Balanza 8, Ambohot 6, Caralipio 5, Olivario 4, Mina 2, Balagasay 0, Reyson 0, Javillonar 0

CSB 74 - Haruna 19, Gutang 9, Dixon 7, Carlos 6, Leutcheu 6, Naboa 6, Young 6, Belgica 6, Sangco 4, Nayve 3, Flores 2

Quarterscores: 24-17, 36-40, 64-61, 87-74

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